Comparison: ALTImass TypeU vs Badger Meter RCT1000
We all have a tendency to think that flow meters with lots of advanced diagnostics or functions are the best on the market, don’t we? But that’s not always true. Diagnostics and other extras can add value to your application. However, if you don’t use these fancy features, you’ll pay more for a device and get less than you paid for. Do you really want to do that?
Focus on performance in your application before getting excited about features. The flow meter should provide accurate data, and you should feel comfortable with the performance, lifespan, and so on. Think about all the data that device can deliver to you and how you’ll use the data to improve performance and avoid problems with your process and device.
Take the companies in today’s comparison, for example. We don’t have the fanciest devices here, but they deliver honest performance and features. Both are newcomers here on Visaya, so let’s welcome them! On the right, the gang from OVAL offer for our inspection the ALTImass TypeU. On the left, our colleagues from Badger Meter have the RCT1000 for us to discuss. Are you ready? Let’s see how these flow meters will support you!
Disclaimer: This product review examines only features, not performance. If you’ve used this device, feel free to share your experience in the comments.
My first impression of the Badger Meter RCT1000 was pretty good, a simple, compact device with local configuration and display. The LCD screen has 4 lines with 20 characters and a white backlight, and it’ll show more than your process data. The four buttons for device configuration make navigating the menu fairly easy. It uses a type-U flow sensor, so you’ll need a little more space to install the meter, but it’s a pretty common shape on the market.
On the OVAL side, the ALTImass gave me a feeling of deja vu. I mentioned this on the product review, but it feels a lot like the CamCor CT Series. If anyone knows anything about this, then please let me know! Anyway, the display catches your attention right out of the box – LCD at 126 by 64 dots and an option to have a white or orange backlight! Y’all, this display feels huge! Additionally, you have a local setup with touch screen buttons. Navigating the menu with only two buttons, Select and Enter, takes a little more time, making me want to go with a handheld instead.
Measurement and sensors
Both devices deliver the same basic process data – mass flow, volume flow, density, and temperature. Using these numbers, you can calculate other information like concentration.
The Badger Meter RCT1000 offers a size range from one-sixteenth to three inches, which is pretty nice. Moreover, you can use the device in process temperatures from -40 to 200 degrees Celsius and a maximum pressure of around o237.86 bars. Unfortunately, it has rather limited wetted material, only 316L stainless steel. Most sensors come with 916L as well as other options, so it misses here.
The ALTImass TypeU has sizes from three-eighths to three inches. I picked the CA080 sensor to drive us into the details, but you can dig up more about the other sensors on the website. This sensor can withstand temperatures from -200 to 200 degrees Celsius, and the maximum pressure depends on the type of flange you choose. You have options like ASME 150, 300, and more. It also offers more wetted parts than the RCT1000; you can get 316L, 316L+Alloy C, and Alloy C.
Field protocol and output
The Badger Meter RCT1000 surprised me with its options. On the up side, you can find Modbus TCP/IP, EtherNet/IP, and HART! On the down side, it doesn’t have FOUNDATION Fieldbus (FF) or PROFIBUS PA. Of course, company strategy dictates these choices, and we know that some segments favor certain protocols over others. Anyway, it also has a frequency, pulse, analog, and pulse width modulation (PWM).
The ALTImass follows a traditional line with digital protocols such as HART, Modbus RTU, PROFIBUS PA, and FF. It has no ethernet protocol, but my comment about the company strategy stands here too. It also has analog, pulse, frequency, and status.
Badger Meter documentation claims the RCT1000 has an accuracy in a liquid flow of +-0.1 percent of flow rate and +- 0.0005 grams per cubic centimeter (g/mL) in density. The technical manual refers to gas flow measurement in Figure 10, but I never found the standard performance for that.
For the ALTImass, the CA080 sensor I picked has an accuracy in a liquid of +-0.1 percent of reading, +-0.5 percent in gas, and a density accuracy of +-0.0005 g/mL. Both meters have the same level of accuracy, but the RTC1000 lacks data on its performance in gas.
You won’t find anything special here. However, I’d like to comment on the RCT1000’s USB output, where you can connect the company software to set up the device and run diagnostics on meter conditions. It also offers an option for batch control, where the transmitter can control the final element and the whole process without a problem.
The ALTImass has self-diagnosis and LEDs that alert you to problems in the system. Sure, it’s a little thin in the features department, but at least it’s kind of like advanced diagnostics.
Information and documentation
The marketing department at Badger Meter does good work! The website is clear, and you can easily navigate the options. The documentation names need improvement, but most companies in this segment have this problem. Hey, at least you can access the site through your phone or tablet.
OVAL’s site definitely needs an overhaul. It didn’t open on my phone, its design looks so 90s, and I had too much trouble finding information. The documents need better names, of course, but they also need better editing. Too much information in the same place, you know?
Both devices showed similar performance. The Badger Meter RCT1000 had a few fancy features but lacked FF and PROFIBUS. The ALTImass TypeU offers the basics for seamless integration but takes a minimalist approach on the features. Scale them out, check out the performance in your application, and choose the best one for you.